What Is A Hockey Positioning?

Hockey is a fast-paced game played by two teams with drastically different skill sets. In order to win, each position on the ice must have an assigned function and knowing these functions will help you understand how they contribute towards victory in your next hockey match.

Each team will have a total of 6 players on the ice which comprise 5 types of positions:

  • 3 Forward Positions:
    • Center
    • Left-Wing
    • Right-Wing
  • Defensemen: Each team will have two defensemen on the ice
  • Goalie: The player responsible for stopping pucks from going into the net

Here is a diagram of how each of the positions lines up on the ice:

hockey positioning

Forward Position: Center

The centermen are arguably the most important position on an ice hockey team. They have both offensive and defensive responsibilities, which makes them crucial to their respective games in every zone.

Centers are often seen as the smartest player on their team. They’re responsible for controlling much of what happens during each shift, and they have one major responsibility: taking face-offs in order to help win them back possession from opponents who may try to take advantage of it’s a giveaway or lost the battle at center ice level. The first thing you’ll notice when watching any game played by an NHL Centre is how important this position truly is- with so much riding upon its success.

hockey positioning

The centers are tasked with stopping the other centermen from across town, which also happens to be controlling much of their attack. Whoever can win this battle will have a better chance at puck possession and usually has more success when they do so.

In the NHL, where teams select their future stars in a draft of young players called “hulking centers,” there is no other position as coveted or difficult to find. These elite scorers can be found at either wing but they’re all too rare for one team; thus making them indispensable assets on any roster.

Forward Position Wingers: Left-Wing and Right Wing

Wingers are typically the most goal-scoring players on a team. They’re looking to get into a position where they can take an open shot, and many high scorers such as Ovechkin or Laine were known for having amazing shots that would quickly release from their stick blade at any time during gameplay.

In the defensive zone, a winger must be able to clear out any puck carrier and stop their opposition from entering into offensive play. As well in the defensive zone, the winger will set up somewhere between the faceoff circle and the blue line. The winger needs to make sure that they are ready to receive a pass along the boards if their own defensemen try to pass the puck up, or cover an opposing defenseman who is trying to help his team score.

hockey positioning

The winger needs to be aware of what is going on in his own zone as well. He must guard against rushing plays by the opposing team, or pinch into their territory looking for an opportunity at goal, but if he does get too far up ice-side then there could easily be a turnover leading directly back towards your net.

Hockey is a game of transitions, and this defensive strategy helps to stop offenses from transitioning out. The left winger’s job in certain systems would be defending higher up so they can easily drop back into their own zone when opponents try leaving it for an attack which creates turnovers that are quickly capitalized on by teams utilizing the Left Wing Lock – giving them more scoring chances after any given takeaway.

Defensemen Position

The best defensemen are responsible for two main tasks-to keep the opposition from scoring and transitioning their team into an offensive position. The major role of a good blueliner is stopping forwards in front, so they must be aware of every move made by these players while on ice. To do this they will try to do 4 major things:

  • Protect the net- This involves trying to box out the forwards from in front of you, who are attempting a screen for their goaltender. You must also check opponents by lifting their sticks with your own weapon if necessary.
  • Block the passing lanes and shooting lanes- The defensemen are tasked with trying to pick off any passes or shots that may reach their goalie.
  • Upset the momentum of the offense during breakouts and transition- By shifting our body position and stick position, we can funnel players to the outside. This way they won’t head towards the net.
  • Move the puck out of the defensive zone quickly- A good defenseman is always looking for an opportunity to skate up the ice and get his stick on any loose pucks so he can help transition quickly from defense into attack.

Defensemen are often as good at skating backward, and they need to be in order to defend against forwards who attack from behind. Defense can involve ‘gapping up’ or maintaining a small gap between oneself so that one is able to stop attacks before they occur – this will allow teammates with more time on their hands back near the bench where we find them when not playing defense.

Goalie Position

hockey positioning

Glen Hall, who faced a barrage of shots traveling at 100 mph, did not sound fun in his testimonial – even called it ‘60 minutes of hell’.

The hockey goalie is tasked with one thing: stop the puck from entering into their net using any means possible. Now there are better ways to try and prevent this than others, but goalies can use all parts of themselves when blocking shots in order not to allow them inside where they’re Reserve indoors or outside depending on weather conditions. Goaltenders are often the most important member of a hockey team. They can’t score goals but they make up for it by playing great defense and stopping any shot that comes their way! The key to winning games might be in how well your netminder plays; without them, no victory would count as true success.

How Many Of Each Position Are On A-Team?

Professional Hockey 

The 23-person lineup for each game is usually set in advance. The coaching staff will dress 12 forwards and 6 defensemen, but there’s always one more player than what you’d expect – commonly known as “the backup.” If he sees action on tonight’s rink (or Sheet) then it’ll be just like any other shift; unless of course things go wrong.

The forwards and defense will be split into 4 teams each. The centers are the ones who typically lead in ice time, as they see the most action on their side of the puck; there can only be 6 total players at once so you’ll often hear about “centers” or even just one specific player (“C”) for convenience’s sake when talking specifically hockey stats.

Minor Hockey

Hockey is a game of inches. In Minor Hockey or recreational hockey, most teams have 9 forwards and 4 defensemen for three lines in each rink – that means there are two defenses missing from every line. But don’t worry because it’s not just about the goalies…everyone gets dressed up to play their position so no one goes home without playing at least a while.


Hockey is a sport where the three main positions are forward, defensemen and goalie. Each position has its own set of skills that must be learned in order for players to succeed at it; if you’re just starting out with hockey then trying different ones will let your creativity shine while also providing some fun role-playing opportunities. It’s important when watching live gameplay from any given match between teams – whether on TV or online–to pay attention not only to what each person does but why they do certain things too because this can give us insight into how the better strategy might work against certain opponents (or teammates).

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